Tulsa received plenty of attention after a New York Times story published Sunday detailed one businessman’s plan to seek a 2024 Olympic bid for the city of 400,000 people.
Two of those people — two very important people — called a news conference Tuesday to clarify the city’s stance. Tulsa Sports Commission Senior Vice President Ray Hoyt stood with city mayor Dewey Bartlett over his shoulder and delivered a clear message, according to the Tulsa Word.
“We are not actively seeking an Olympic bid,” Hoyt said. “Or supporting it.”
The Times article titled, “London. Tokyo. Athens. Tulsa? A Heartland Olympic Dream,” tells the story of electrical engineer Neil Mavis, who has been working on a Tulsa 2024 bid for five years.
“We have all the resources,” Mavis said in the article. “We just need the spark.”
Hoyt disagreed and said the Olympics may prevent the city from attracting less grand goals like Big XII championships or the NCAA tournament.
“We have to protect our credibility,” Hoyt said, according to the Tulsa World. “We don’t want to approach people about events that they know we can’t accommodate.”
Tulsa simply doesn’t have the population, budget or infrastructure to host the Olympics – or even to make a serious bid, he said.
“We don’t want to apologize for or throw water on Mr. Mavis’ desire to represent his city,” Bartlett said. “But we certainly don’t want it to get out of hand.”
An official bid would have to come from the host city’s mayor, according to the rules of the International Olympic Committee. So, without Bartlett’s support, the effort would seem to be at a standstill.
Tulsa 2024 bid leader: ‘We’re going to stay in the race’
David Ortiz called his good friend Aly Raisman on Thursday night. Raisman had one request for their scheduled meeting for Friday.
“I told him that he had to hold my medals while I threw out the first pitch,” Raisman said on NESN. “I told him he better not forget, but he remembered.”
Ortiz made it a highlight, wearing Raisman’s three Rio medals and plodding as if they were weighing him down before the Royals-Red Sox game at Fenway Park on Friday night.
It was reminiscent of Bryce Harper serving as a medal rack for Katie Ledecky on Wednesday night.
Ortiz and Raisman have come to know each other in the last four years, after Raisman’s first Olympic appearance in London. Raisman, a native of Needham, Massachusetts, has attended a gala and golf tournament benefitting Ortiz’s children’s charity.
She previously threw a first pitch at Fenway following the 2012 London Games. It didn’t faze Raisman that her pitch Friday bounced before reaching home plate.
“My pitch was horrible, but that’s OK,” Raisman said on NESN. “I’m good at gymnastics, so it doesn’t matter.”
Raisman will rejoin her Final Five teammates for a USA Gymnastics tour of 36 cities that begins Sept. 15. Whether she returns to competitive gymnastics is unknown.
MORE: Gymnastics royalty reacts to Biles and Raisman’s Olympic heroics
Claressa Shields may just be the most dominant female athlete on the planet. The Flint, Mich., native is now a two-time Olympic boxing champion with a 77-1 record and a four-year unbeaten streak.
Actor Mark Wahlberg, who played boxer Micky Ward in the 2010 film “The Fighter,” took notice.
He taped a video that Shields watched before a celebration in her hometown Thursday, according to the Flint Journal.
“You are the true definition of a champion,” Wahlberg said. “You continue to inspire so many people, not only in Flint, but all over the world. I’m so proud of you. Your performance was amazing. God bless you. I look forward to seeing you, and I look forward to doing lots of things with you.”
Now Shields must decide whether to turn professional, which would end her Olympic career.
“Professional women’s boxing is not nowhere near on the same attention level as the Olympics are,” the 21-year-old Shields said, according to the Flint Journal. “I get way more attention than any female boxer who is professional right now with me being an amateur.
“So the goal is to go professional but still have that same attention and same mainstream. Hopefully, if they have the rule changed that the women professionals can come back and fight the Olympics, I would go professional to fight on TV and make a bunch of money but then come back and defend my two gold medals in 2020.”
MORE: Shields becomes first U.S. fighter to win back-to-back golds